Ramaa Mosley’s first feature film The Brass Teapot (2012) is a genius idea, but does not seem able find its own identity. The basic concept of the film is that a young married couple, Alice and John (Juno Temple and Michael Angaraino) are down on their luck – Alice is unable to find a job as her student debt piles up and John manages to be the first person to be laid off at his company. They are a couple in love, but are beginning to feel life’s pressure to keep up with the Joneses. Alice finds herself in an unusual antique store one day and steals, unbeknownst to her, a magical teapot.
Soon after the theft, Alice realizes the teapot magically materializes money whenever she hurts herself, or others. She lets John in on the little secret and soon a merry-go-round of black eyes, S&M sessions and sucker punches parade throughout the household. With each kick and poke, hundreds of dollars fly out of the teapot’s top. Before long, a stack of cash as high as the ceiling is burning a hole in their pockets. The young couple now has no worry in the world, until the money begins to dwindle and the original owners come knocking on their newly purchased mansion door.
The two young actors are both established in Hollywood and are regularly discussed about their future potential in cinema. The idea definitely sold them on the film and the studio probably gave them a shot to see what would materialize. However, it wasn’t their fault as to why the film fell flat, but the lack in direction. During certain aspects of the film, it played like a slapstick comedy and the next the film is trying to be a serious coming-of-age drama with moral meaning. The film would’ve been better off had they chosen one genre. The way it currently plays, the morals of the story are lost and the ripe idea for life lessons is wasted.
Overall, the acting was easily the highlight of the film, but there are just too many holes in the story for the premise to fall through. If there were ever a chance to give a film a mulligan and remake, I’d give it to this one. Otherwise, FORRRREEE! Stay away.